Everyone who has kids wants to be a great parent. And while we think that parenting will just come naturally, sometimes we get stuck in bad habits that can make our parenting less than stellar. While you can probably give yourself some grace, there are always things you can do to be a better parent. Whether you need to work through issues so you don’t get angry so easily or find a healthier outlet for your emotions than a bottle of wine, here are some ways to be a better parent.
Table of Contents
Quit Drinking Alcohol
While there are many reasons to quit alcohol, it’s best done sober when you want to improve your parenting. Too many parents find themselves turning to wine and other substances to cope with stress, and that model at home can damage your relationship with your child and your health. Your best bet is to get sober. If you’re struggling to let it go, click here to learn more about rehab options at New Directions for Women. They are one of many facilities around the country that help women overcome alcohol and drug addiction.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
It’s okay to admit when you’re not okay. Whether you need help with postpartum depression or have issues from your childhood that impact how you parent, taking care of your mental health is critical. Parents should seek therapy with licensed professionals to ensure that they appropriately address their mental health. Taking breaks when you feel overwhelmed, finding healthy outlets for your stress, and even regular exercise can improve your mental well-being. As a parent, it’s important to take care of yourself to better take care of your child or children.
Educate Yourself About Child Development
Understanding child development can help you tremendously when it comes to parenting. You may think a child is being defiant when they say no, but in reality, they are simply expressing independence by using a word they have likely heard a million times from you. Reading books about developmentally normal behaviors can help you change your approach to parenting. Going from punitive forms of punishment and switching to a Gentle Parenting approach can help tremendously. Additionally, letting your kids know you appreciate them is also powerful in parenting.
Teach Valuable Skills
There are so many skills to teach your child before they grow up into adults. Teach them to be self-sufficient. Teach them to be responsible for their own actions and choices. Teach them to make good decisions, not just easy ones. And most importantly, teach them the value of kindness toward others. These life skills can benefit them when they grow up and move out.
Let Kids Help Out Around the House
One of the hardest things for parents is letting go of control. Letting kids clean the house, even if it’s not perfect, can be stressful. It won’t be perfect; it won’t even be done your way, and that’s okay. As a parent, praising your children when they clean up is important, even if it’s not perfect. Don’t nitpick or correct. Simply let it be. Continue modeling to them what it looks like clean when you do the work. Letting them help regularly teaches them responsibility and helps them develop a sense of pride.
Free Time is Important, so Let Kids Have Fun
Everyone needs downtime just for fun, kids and adults included. Don’t overschedule your kids’ time. Instead, take them to the park, find a free thing to do in your town, let them run free and just be kids. It’s okay to give them unstructured playtime, and it’s also good for their development. Let them play games with other kids, invite friends over, and spend time being playful whenever possible.
Be a Good Listener
Sometimes parents struggle to truly hear their kids because they are too busy correcting, giving advice, and trying to figure out how to fix problems. The best parents learn to be good listeners. Sometimes this means really leaning in to hear what your child’s words and behaviors are telling you without jumping to any conclusions.
Even the best parents can make small improvements. Parenting is a journey; there is so much to learn at each stage. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it to be a better parent.
Featured Image by Kris from Pixabay